Written by Jerome Charyn
Review by Andrea Connell

By peeling off layers of fiction to expose the facts of Jerzy Kosinski’s life, author Jerome Charyn chops through the façade of a man and the creation of his art. Although the novel is about Kosinski himself, the star is actually Kosinski’s best-selling novel, Being There, and the lies surrounding its origins. Kosinksi is simply the vessel through which its story is told. Multiple narrators—a homicidal actor, a dominatrix, and Joseph Stalin’s daughter—lend insights as the reader travels down an ever-darkening road exposing the author’s personal and professional deterioration.

Jerzy is not an easy read, but it is a gripping one, a worthwhile novel that will challenge the reader’s mind. When layers of seeming truth are stripped away through words to reveal reality—no matter how affecting—the reader will be uncomfortable. But isn’t this the purpose of literary fiction, to move the reader away from their comfort zone into the swirling chaos of the unknowable and unbelievable? In this respect, Jerome Charyn will expertly guide you through the shadowy life of this most enigmatic of artists in this imaginative and provocative novel.